There's more sand than bluegrass here, but breeders and trainers still love coastal Delaware

By Bill Newcott
Photographs by Carolyn Watson
From the Winter 2021 issue


t’s Wednesday night at Harrington Raceway, and a contingent of the Marsh family is watching their 2-year-old filly, Babe Ruthie, trot around the half-mile oval. She is seconds from the biggest moment of her young life.

Head up, feet moving in classic trotting cadence, Ruthie’s distinctive gait lies somewhere between that of a toe dancer and wind-up toy. Wearing a blue sash, she pulls a flimsy-looking cart manned by a driver in gold and red silks. 

She focuses straight ahead, as if she understands the stakes. Not only will this be Babe Ruthie’s first race, it’s an elimination event for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund competition, with a $20,000 purse. 

It’s also a big night for Ruthie’s trainer, Harry Marsh — although, as a long-established horseman in these parts, he’s certainly been here before. 

Winter WonderFest Lights Up the Night

By Maddie Lauria  
Photographs by Thane Phelan
From the Winter 2021 issue


Driving along Route 1 after the sun sets in November and December, it’s hard not to become a distracted driver when passing by Hudson Fields. There, thousands of red, white and green holiday lights twinkle brightly against the night sky. 

Since Winter WonderFest began at Cape Henlopen State Park in 2016, the light spectacular has come to attract more than 80,000 people throughout the holiday season. The growing demand is what drove organizers to Hudson Fields, where there’s more space to expand the philanthropic community light show and holiday celebration.


Pandemic-fueled buying frenzyhas pushed prices up, selling time down

By Lynn R. Parks  
Photographs by Scott Nathan
From the October 2021 issue


Coastal Sussex has long been a mecca for retirees. “They’ve been coming here for years,” says real estate agent Judy Rhodes, manager of the Century 21 Home Team Realty office near Rehoboth Beach. This year, though, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more people to act on their plans than usual, Rhodes says. Retirees who had been saving for a home at the beach decided that now was the time to take the leap. Others who were still working turned in their notices and embarked on early retirement. 

And then there were younger people who are still raising families but who realized, while kept out of their offices under COVID restrictions, that they could do their jobs from anywhere. “If work could be done remotely and you no longer needed to live near your work location, then work could be done from a much better place than you currently had,” Rhodes says.